California Coastal Commission kicks off Coastal Cleanup Month culminating in the 39th annual CA Coastal Cleanup Day

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SAN FRANCISCO – September 1st marked the beginning of Coastal Cleanup Month in California. Cleanups will be held throughout the state during the month with the highlight being the 39th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, September 23. More than 50,000 volunteers are expected to gather at locations across California during the month, where they will help remove hundreds of tons of trash from beaches, creeks, rivers, lakes, and neighborhoods.

California Coastal Cleanup Day is the state’s largest annual volunteer event. Since 1985, over 1.7 million volunteers have helped remove more than 26 million pounds of trash from California’s beaches and inland shorelines. The event, which is part of the International Coastal Cleanup, organized by the Ocean Conservancy, serves as a vital opportunity for community members to help remove plastic pollution from the environment before the winter rains arrive and wash much of that debris out to the ocean through stormwater systems, creeks, and rivers.

In 2020, the Coastal Commission introduced a self-guided cleanup model in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Californians cleaned their neighborhoods, parks, and local natural areas to help prevent the flow of trash from the streets to the ocean. While 2023 marks the return to full capacity cleanup sites on the traditional single-day event on September 23, the Commission maintains its commitment to encouraging cleanups throughout the month so the event is accessible for those that may not be available that Saturday morning or for whom traveling to their nearest cleanup site may prove difficult.

No matter the circumstances, Californians continue to show they care deeply about the environment by supporting the cleanup year after year. In 2022, over 38,000 volunteers turned out over the course of September, including at over 500 cleanup sites on September 17, 2022. Together they removed over 300,000 pounds of trash and recyclables, covering well over 3,000 miles of California’s shorelines – all in a matter of hours.

“For generations, Californians have demonstrated their love and dedication to our coast during Coastal Cleanup Day,” said the Commission’s Executive Director Dr. Kate Huckelbridge. “The Coastal Commission is incredibly proud to provide an outlet for all Californians to express that dedication each year. We see how devoting only a few hours on a Saturday in September translates into a year-round commitment to the protection and preservation of our coast. We are grateful to all who share in this goal!”

California Coastal Cleanup Day has long been known for its innovative publicity campaigns and event posters. The 2023 cleanup continues this tradition with a campaign that speaks directly to the collective impact that volunteers have each year. Volunteers at Coastal Cleanup Day are never alone – they are one of dozens or hundreds at their cleanup site, one of thousands across their county, one of tens of thousands in the state, and one of hundreds of thousands around the world taking part in the same effort at essentially the same time.

Created by San Francisco-based ad agency Barrett Hofherr on a pro bono basis, this year’s campaign features images of larger-than-life volunteers helping to clean up in iconic locations across California. This year’s theme, “You’re Bigger Than You Think,” speaks to the enormous effect that volunteers can have when they come together to accomplish a common goal.

To find out how to join the effort, the Commission has an interactive map of cleanup locations in every corner of the state, which is available at Publicity posters and event materials are also available at this site. Please check the website for updates and share your cleanup experience on social media using the hashtag #coastalcleanupday.

Follow statewide efforts on Facebook at, Twitter and on Instagram at

(CA Coastal Commission Release) n

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